Continuing with our blog series, ‘Getting to Know You’. Throughout the year we will be getting to know a financial aid colleague from each state in the region a little better. Next up, Utah!
Jayson Matlock is a Financial Aid Counselor at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah.
What is your background and how did you get into financial aid?
I started as a work-study student in the Financial Aid Office during my Sophomore year of college. I came to Southern Utah University to pursue my athletic career in track & field, and also to obtain a degree in exercise science. As I gained more experience working as a peer advisor for our office I was promoted to become a scholarship intern, which provided me with even more experience. The experience landed me a full-time position as a Financial Aid Counselor. I initially came to college on a completely separate track, and financial aid chose me. I have loved every second of my job when dealing with students and the intricacies of interpreting and adhering to federal regulations!
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
I could not live without my family, and most importantly my wife. They have been my rock and my support group. I am a first-generation, low- income student, and the amount of assistance that I received from them has helped me to advance myself in the best way possible.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
The first summer that I went back home in college I was struggling to find a job that worked with my schedule. My Uncle ended up hooking me up with a part-time job through a close family friend. The job wasn’t as weird as it was difficult, but I managed to land a job as a sign twirler in Las Vegas. That summer the average temperature was about 107 degrees every day, and I was flipping away. Little did I know that individuals in that position typically get paid way more than minimum wage, but I was lucky enough to be the one that was paid minimum wage. It was always hot and uncomfortable, but my sign twirling skills are on point to this day!
What’s your favorite book?
My favorite book is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I’m a huge fan of dystopian literature, and this by far was one of the most interesting, disturbing, and suspenseful reads!
What do you do for fun?
In Southern Utah, I go on a lot of hikes and remain outdoors with my family. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, but I have acquired a great passion for being in nature. If I’m being completely honest, I like to spend a lot of my spare time playing video games as well!
Favorite line from a movie?
“Just keep swimming” from Finding Nemo.
Do you have an office nickname?
The student workers like to call me Jay-Shawn, because someone got my name wrong once and it has always stuck!
Most embarrassing moment at work?
I have hid behind a co-worker’s door (as a student worker) for a while intending to scare them, and they never showed up. I was really excited about it too! I ended up getting them later though.
If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I wouldn’t choose a meal, but I would eat at a buffet with a range of option every day. I might put on a couple of pounds, but it would be worth it.
Do you have a secret talent?
No secret talents, but I can sing really well…helps to get me a lot of brownie points at home!
Do you have any phobias?
No, but camel spiders do terrify me to no end. I remember watching arachnophobia when I was little, and I have been traumatized ever since.
Can you play any instruments?
I used to throw down on the violin, but I got super involved in sports. I plan to relearn that skill one day though.